• Warning: Spoilers
    'One-Eyed Jacks' might be considered the most self-consciously Western of the sixties, and possibly of all time... It contains undoubted visual attributes, gorgeous photographic sequences of an immense sandy desert, and panoramas of the spectacular California coast... Not often does one get to see the sea in a Western... Another of the film's great assets is its beautiful music...

    'One-Eyed Jacks' is slow, but very tough, realistic and softly romantic... The picture has excitement and violence...

    Brando summons all the reserve of anger, inner ambivalence, and emotional complexity in his nature... As a cowboy, he is tough, cunning, soft-spoken, sentimental, vicious, and occasionally masochistic... He plumbs dark reserves of desolation and revenge with an inner ferocity that had always been a part of him but had never before emerged full-force... As a director, he is meticulous, with a keen eye for spectacular outdoor cinematography, and an instinctive sense for the visual expression of inner conflicts...

    Karl Malden, whose surface friendliness and affability usually concealed either weakness or malice or both, is excellent as the ambitious, determined outlaw, and the volatile, treacherous, arrogant sheriff whose last poisonous spill: "You'll get a fair trial, and then I'm gonna hang you, personally.'

    'One-Eyed Jacks is largely a story of vengeance... The film begins with two American outlaws operating in Mexico... Rio (Brando), a happy-go-lucky man who considers himself a Don Juan, and Dad Longworth (Karl Malden), a crooked man looking for the opportunity to settle down...

    They raid banks with real ease and spend their leisure time drinking and courting women... Rio appears as a somewhat cultured bandit with a weakness for aristocratic young ladies... He gives one of them his most "precious" possession, his mother's ring...

    The Mexican police trail the pair and almost catch them at their lovemaking, but Rio and Dad fight their way out to the desert... The mounted police follow and the bandits are eventually trapped in the hills with one of their horses shot... Rio determines to stay... Dad promises to return with a fresh horse, but, tempted by two sacks of gold, he never come back...

    Rio is captured and spends five years of his life in a brutal Mexican prison, until he makes an escape, with the company of a friend called Modesto (Larry Duran).

    The embittered Rio is now a man bent on revenge... He learns in one Cantina that his ex-partner is the sheriff of a town called Monterey, and has taken himself a Mexican wife with a teen-age daughter... So he goes to visit him...

    A guilt-ridden Dad finds Rio pleasant and apparently willing to forget past differences... He presents his family, and invites Rio to stay for supper...

    Rio is in league with two bandits, Bob Amory (Ben Johnson) and Harvey Johnson (Sam Gilman), and they have come to Monterey to steal a bank... They grow impatient, but Rio assures them of his intention not only to rob the bank but to kill the sheriff as well...

    Obviously, Longworth is not completely convinced about his friend, and becomes uneasy when Rio and his step-daughter show a romantic interest in one another... He well remembers Rio's past amorous adventures and he has no wish for anything that will delay Rio in Monterey...

    The town engages in a fiesta, with the bank not planning to open for several days... While the respected sheriff joins the townspeople in their festivities, Rio seduces the tender Louisa...

    The next morning, in a saloon, Rio approaches a drunk mistreating one of the house girls and knocks the man down... The drunk reaches for a shotgun and tries to shoot Rio in the back... But Modesto (as Bronson in 'Jubal') helps save Rio from the blast... The resultant outbursts Longworth to put his grisly double-cross into effect...

    He takes Rio into the street and arrests him with the help of his deputies... He ties him to a horse rail, flogs him with a whip, smashes his right hand with a rifle butt, puts him on his horse and drives him out of town...

    Rio retreats to a small fishing village on the coast with his partners and nurses himself back to health... Louisa visits him at his place to tell him she is in love... Rio's eyes are full of hate against her step father... He is entirely blind in his determination for revenge... Louisa wants him to forget, to leave his dark past for a brighter future... She leaves without mentioning she is expecting a baby...

    For over a period of six weeks Rio practices with his gun in an intent to regain the use of his hand... Amory and Johnson grow impatient, and decide to make their own move... From here the action is carefully builds towards an explosion...

    A carefully chosen supporting cast augmented the proceedings in fine style:

    • Katy Jurado repeats her role of the loving and understanding mother...


    • Ben Johnson plays the unscrupulous cowardly thief who avoids Brando's fury...


    • The gentle Pina Pellicer does her earnest best to temper the intensities of her man...


    • Slim Pickens plays the revolting deputy intimidated by an empty Derringer..


    Brando's 'One-Eyed Jacks' comes on as taught and tight, acted with deep feeling and intense concentration... Brando and Malden play largely a stylistic battle...